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Originally posted by UtahRosebud
We do have an ongoing thread here on ATS regarding the fracking in Arkansas and the damage it is doing.
(Reuters) - As much as 1 million times the normal level of methane gas has been found in some regions near the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, enough to potentially deplete oxygen and create a dead zone, U.S. scientists said on Tuesday.
In addition to naturally occurring oil and gas seeps in the Santa Barbara Channel, north of Los Angeles, methane and hydrogen sulfide gases are actively discharging at the crest of a mud volcano only 24 kilometers west-southwest of Redondo Beach, California. The mud volcano is 30m high and its top is about the size of a football field. It formed as gas-charged sediment from depth squeezed up to the sea floor, probably along an active fault at the edge of the offshore Santa Monica Basin. The top of the mud volcano is about 800m below the sea surface, and at this depth the water pressure is 80 times the atmospheric pressure at sea level. As a result, water and methane gas at this pressure "freezes" to form what is termed a methane hydrate. The hydrate ice becomes incorporated in the surrounding ocean-floor sediment. The photo of a cross-section of a sediment core (see below) reveals the rapidly disassociating chunk of hydrate (methane ice).
A new analysis shows that a deadly mud volcano in Indonesia may not have been a natural disaster after all. The research lends weight to the controversial theory that the volcano was caused by humans.
Villagers near Sidoarjo noticed a mud volcano beginning to erupt at 5 a.m. local time May 29, 2006. It was about 500 feet from a local gas-exploration well. Every day since then, the Lusi mud volcano has pumped out 100,000 tons of mud, or enough to fill 60 Olympic-size swimming pools. It has now covered an area of almost 3 square miles to a depth of 65 feet. Thirty thousand people have been displaced, and scientific evidence is mounting that the company drilling the well caused the volcano.
“The disaster was caused by pulling the drill string and drill bit out of the hole while the hole was unstable,” said Richard Davies, director of the Durham Energy Institute and co-author of a new paper in the journal Marine and Petroleum Geology, in a press release. “This triggered a very large ‘kick’ in the well, where there is a large influx of water and gas from surrounding rock formations that could not be controlled.”
As it became apparent natural gas was involved, contacts were made with federal and state agencies and the gas company, Kansas Gas Service. A pipeline leak was initially suspected, but company and agency reviews of the operations showed no evidence of pipeline problems. Kansas Gas was reviewing pipeline and distribution operations and also operations atthe Yaggy underground gas storage facility. Pressure anomalies were notedat storage well S-1 prompting further investigation including video logging of the well. The video logging revealed a hole in the well casing at a depth of 600 feet. This is thought to be the source of the gas causing the eruptions in Hutchinson. Kansas Gas Service took steps to reduce leakage by removing gas from the well and setting special plugs to seal the leak. All gas was removed from storage well S-1 and the storage cavern was filled with brine. The state required no more gas be placed in the Yaggy facility as a safety precaution. Kansas Gas Service brought in nearly 200 employees to search for leaks in the community. Public buildings, such as schools, were surveyed with detection equipment. Additionally special sniffer trucks cris- crossed the town and geo-probe units were used to monitor suspect areas. These surveys continue today as a precaution.